Last updated: August 8, 2021

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Cat toys provide your cat with a welcome change of pace and something to do. With a wide variety of toys to choose from, there is a toy for every cat. Cat toys differ in the type of toy, the material and the size. There are also toys on the market that can be dangerous for your cat.

With our big cat toy guide 2021 we want to help you find the best cat toy for you. We have compared interactive cat toys, intelligence toys and cat tunnels with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Cat toys offer your cat fun and variety in the house and flat. It helps to relieve stress and boredom in the home.
  • A basic distinction is made between interactive cat toys, intelligence toys and cat tunnels.
  • Interactive cat toys keep cats busy on their own and help your cat to stay alone and relieve stress.

The Best Cat Toy: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying cat toys

For which cats are cat toys suitable?

Basically, cat toys are suitable for every cat. The only difference is between kittens and adult cats, as they have different needs. It is important to provide your cat with a variety of different toys. Regular play with your cat will strengthen the bond between you and help him to reduce stress and aggression.

How much do cat toys cost?

Cat toys come in all price ranges. Depending on the complexity, type and quality of the toy, you can spend between 5 and 50 Euros. In the following table we have compiled a rough overview of the different price ranges.

Type of toy Price range
Cat balls 4 to 14 Euros
Cat fishing rods 7 to 20 Euros
Intelligence toys 15 to 30 Euros
Interactive toys 15 to 50 Euros

What are the alternatives to cat toys?

An alternative to bought cat toys is to make your own toys for your cat. On the internet you can find a lot of DIY instructions for cool and practical cat toys. You can build exciting toys for your cat with just a few materials.

Decision: What types of cat toys are there and which is the right one for you?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of interactive cat toys?

Interactive cat toys are the most elaborate and usually the most expensive toys. These toys are often electronic and remote controlled, or move around the room on their own. These include remote-controlled mice, laser pointers and electronic rattle balls.

Advantages
  • Awakens hunting instinct
  • Long-term occupation
  • Great fun
Disadvantages
  • High purchase price
  • Battery-operated
  • Possibly noisy

Interactive cat toys are one of the best ways to keep your cat occupied. Often these toys are fully automatic and move on their own, so you don't have to worry about your cat.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of intelligence toys for cats?

Another type of different cat toys is intelligence toys. These are, for example, so-called fiddle boards, ball tracks or play rails. With these toys, your cat is primarily stimulated mentally. This is especially important for indoor cats, as a cat that lives exclusively indoors is often completely underchallenged and needs a balance.

Advantages
  • Create balance
  • Promote mental development
  • Good balance for indoor cats
Disadvantages
  • Need a lot of space
  • Can cause frustration

One disadvantage of intelligence toys is the potential for frustration. Especially if your cat has a low frustration level, these toys can be more frustrating than fun for your cat.

Katzenspielzeug-1

Intelligence toys, such as a marble run, encourage cats and keep them mentally active.
(Image source: pixabay.com/ Maire)

What distinguishes cat tunnels and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The third type of cat toys are cat tunnels and home accessories. These items are less active toys and more for stress relief and calming. Cat tunnels in particular offer your cat a retreat to relax and come down.

Advantages
  • Perfect for relaxing
  • Perfect retreat
Disadvantages
  • Not a real toy
  • Not suitable for occupation

In a play tunnel, your cat can retreat to relax, have a relaxing meal and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in your home. Cat tunnels are less a classic toy and more a kind of "living accessory" for your cat.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate cat toys based on these factors

Material

The first criterion in which cat toys differ is the material they are made of. Here it depends on your preferences and the intended use which material you want. Depending on the type of toy, cat toys are made of the following materials:

  • Fabric
  • Felt
  • Rubber
  • Wood
  • Plastic

None of the materials is better than the others. You should only make sure that the toy does not have any small parts that your cat could swallow!

Small parts and detaching materials can be a serious danger for your cat!

We also recommend natural materials such as fabric, felt and wood, as these do not contain toxins and the like.

Age of your cat

Cat toys are also available specifically for kittens and young cats. These toys are usually smaller and lighter. So if you are looking for toys for your young cat, make sure that the toy is not too big.

For older adult cats, it doesn't matter how big the cat toy is. You can use any toy without any problems.

Katzenspielzeug-2

When buying cat toys, it is important to consider the age and individual needs of your cat.
(Image source: pixabay.com / DarkWorkX)

Type of attachment

The attachment method only applies to cat toys with moving parts, such as climbing ropes, massage corners and play springs. These toys can be attached as follows:

  • Wall mount
  • Ceiling mount
  • Floor mount

Wall and ceiling mounts are fixed with screws and are thus securely and stably mounted. Cat toys with a floor mount are usually fixed to the floor with a kind of suction cup. This type of fastening can come loose more often and is not the optimal solution.

If you want a very stable mounting, then use wall and ceiling mounts.

Facts worth knowing about cat toys

How can I make my own cat toys?

As described above under "What alternatives are there?", you can easily make your own cat toys. We have created instructions for a DIY cat fishing rod.

Instructions for making a cat fishing rod

  1. What do you need? - All you need is a piece of string, a wooden stick and, if you like, a toy stuffed mouse, feather or scrap of fabric.
  2. Attach the piece of string to the wooden stick with a knot or with tape.
  3. If you like, you can now attach the feather or something similar to the other end of the string. This will add a little extra charm to your cat fishing rod.
  4. Now your DIY cat rod is ready.
  5. When you drag the cat rod across the floor, your cat will see the toy as prey and try to chase it.

Are there cat toys that are harmful to my cat?

Yes, there definitely are! Laser pointers in particular are a bad and dangerous toy for your pet cat. Cats will frantically try to catch the laser dot, usually forgetting everything around them. This can cause your cat to literally play itself into a frenzy and overexert itself.

Another problem with laser pointers is the danger to the cat's eyes! If you are not careful enough and accidentally shine the light into your cat's eyes, it can cause burns and permanent damage to the retina.

We have linked more risks for your cats at the bottom of the page at [1].

How can I keep my cat occupied without toys?

One way to keep your cat occupied without a cat toy is to play food games. For example, you can let your cat look for hidden food or teach it tricks.

Cats can learn tricks just like dogs. If you are interested, we recommend using a clicker for training.

Picture source: Vatel / 123rf.com

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